The people of Glasgow are to be given a once in a lifetime opportunity to get up close and personal with one of the most famous trophies in world sport – tennis’s Davis Cup – when it kicks off a whirlwind tour of Britain in the city in April.
Leon Smith’s men made history when they became the first British side to win the Davis Cup in 79 years with a sensational victory over Belgium in the final last November. The historic achievement followed a run of wins that started at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena in March when they defeated USA in the first round.
Britain then overcame France in the quarter-final at Queen’s Club before returning to Glasgow in September where they beat Australia in a nail-biting semi-final. The Emirates Arena and the Glasgow fans won special praise from the players during the sensational run with British No 1 and World No 2 Andy Murray saying it was “one of the best atmospheres that he had ever played in.”
With the final taking place in the Belgian city of Ghent due to Davis Cup competition rules, the majority of Glasgow fans had to settle with watching the event on television at home. But there is no doubting the important role Glasgow played in helping bring the Davis Cup back to Britain for the first time since 1936.
The Glasgow ties were supported by Glasgow Life, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, EventScotland and Tennis Scotland. Following the historic win the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has now confirmed that the Davis Cup trophy is to go on a legacy tour of Britain, with the Scottish leg starting in Glasgow on Friday 1 April. Full details of the Glasgow event will be announced in the coming weeks.
The event will give the army of fans who roared Britain on to glory at the Emirates Arena the chance to see the iconic Davis Cup trophy in person. The trophy itself dates back to 1900 and was made by Shreve, Crump and Low of Boston, Massachusetts. It currently stands at 110 centimetres high, is 107cm in diameter at its widest point and weighs an incredible 105 kilogrammes.
Councillor Frank McAveety, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “None of us will ever forget the magical moments the British team gave us at the Emirates Arena on the road to Davis Cup glory. Over the course of six days an incredible 42,000 fans lived every point with the players, roaring them on to victory against the USA and Australia. The atmosphere was incredible and the Emirates Roar was born.
“The luck of the draw meant the final was an away tie with Belgium but this tour will give our fans the chance to see the trophy that they helped win. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we want as many people as possible to come along and be inspired by the trophy – not just tennis fans but also members of the public.
“I can’t think of a better location to start the tour than the iconic Buchanan Street right in the heart of our great city. The Davis Cup is coming home to Glasgow.”
Visit Scotland’s Director of Events, Paul Bush OBE, said: "The Davis Cup matches in Glasgow demonstrated Scotland’s reputation as the perfect stage for events to a worldwide audience and were a terrific example of Scotland’s contribution to the tennis in recent years
“We are delighted that the trophy is set to visit the city as it embarks on a UK-wide tour, which is fitting recognition for the role that Scotland, and particularly the hugely supportive spectators of Glasgow, played in Great Britain’s Davis Cup success.”
Tennis Scotland’s Head of Development, Doc McKelvey, said: “We’re delighted that the trophy tour begins in Scotland and it’s extremely appropriate that it will be Glasgow that kicks things off, given the two unforgettable ties we enjoyed at the Emirates Arena last year.
“Having the Davis Cup going to selected venues throughout the country will undoubtedly attract huge interest and hopefully encourage people of all ages to take up this great sport of ours.”